September 23, 2015

Violenza: Spicy, Herb-Infused Olive Oil

The full title for this recipe is Miranda's Violenza, named after a delightfully earthy character in  The Lady in the Palazzo: An Umbrian Love Story by Marlena de Blasi.  (Read it if you love memoirs set in Italy, food, or just want to be utterly delighted with life.) It was a quick mention by de Blasi and not a real, detailed recipe, but it so intrigued me that I just had to make it for myself.

Violenza is Italian for violence, which I think has to do with 1) Its spicy nature and 2) Actual physical violence incorporated in the recipe wherein you have to shake the bottle hard every day for a week or so.

According to the book, violenza is best used:

To saute vegetables
To gloss potatoes before roasting
Pork, chickens before eating

Not for lamb or wild birds

If you want to add a big or little spark to your vegetables or meat, this is for you. It elevates the right dishes with that extra little something.  I also love it as a dipping oil for warm, crusty bread or drizzled onto thick slices of tomato with some sea salt on top.

Tip: Crush chiles last in a separate surface from the rest of the ingredients, for example a mortar and pestle.

Miranda's Violenza (violence)

2 cups olive oil
4 smashed cloves of garlic
1/4 cup shredded sage
1/3 cup rosemary leaves chopped fine as powder
3 crushed hot chiles

Place all ingredients in a glass jar (such as a Quattro Stagnioni mason jar), put in the pantry for a week or two, and shake it hard every once in awhile.

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